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Real Madrid, Julen Lopetegui and the actions of a condemned man | Sid Lowe

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Julen Lopetegui’s reign may have been the chronicle of failure foretold; what few imagined was that it would unfold so quickly

They’d been there for a while when the call came through to tell them they were standing in the wrong place. Raphaël Varane’s handball had actually been in the area, VAR decided, so instead of a free-kick it was a penalty, which was why just 14 minutes into this weekend’s opening game, Levante were 2-0 up at the Bernabéu, Real Madrid heading for another defeat and Roger Martí heading for the south-west corner, celebrating. On the opposite touchline Madrid’s manager stood motionless, hands in his pockets, gone. A few rows above, someone tapped the president on the shoulder and gave him a phone. Florentino Pérez took it, looked at the screen, lifted it to his ear, and a million memes were born: bring me the head of Julen Lopetegui.

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That makes 3 defeats in the last 4 league games for #RealMadrid and the 2nd time in HISTORY that #Levante has won at the Bernabéu
Real Madrid 1-2 Levante ⚽#RealMadridLevante #PureFootball pic.twitter.com/Gi7isFh5Oo

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ICYMI: Here's a world class bit of goalkeeping from @mterstegen1.
A ridiculous first save and brilliant recovery to deny @SevillaFC_ENG. #BarcaSevilla #PureFootball #LaLiga #ForcaBarca pic.twitter.com/IEhbHsqgxV

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